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Yvonne G

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What's your name, RFNewbie? Would like to address my email to you by name...

I keep Yellowfoot tortoises, and I live in Clovis, CA (just east of Fresno, central Calif.). My yellowfoot tortoises live outside year round, but they have a heated house in the winter. They used to be allowed to come and go as they wish, but now I mostly keep their door locked shut during cold weather because they never seem to go back into the warm house on their own, and I don't have time to monitor them. Inside their shed I have pig blankets (Stansfield farrowing pad from Osborne Industries {They're online}), and two clamp light fixtures. One holds a regular 60 watt incandescent bulb for daytime and the other holds a black light bulb to turn on at night. The pig blankets provide them warmth to sit on, and the light heats up the ambient air. The air inside the shed, when I open their door in the a.m. is between 65 and 70 degrees. (I keep my leopard tortoises this way too, but their shed is larger and I have to have a heater in there at night (de Longhi oil filled radiator). A cautionary note on the pig blankets. You have to buy a controller to maintain the correct temperature. If you just plug the pad into the outlet, it will get too hot. Also, you NEVER want to use a pig blanket with a very small tortoise.

Your habitat sounds very nice...safe and secure. The only thing I would change is the Burmuda grass. They won't eat it and eventually it will overtake everything and grow too tall and invasive. They prefer plants and broad leaf weeds. My Yellowfoots ate a small 1 gallon banana tree down to the ground! I toss vegetable seeds onto their ground in the spring and they eat the foliage as it comes in. They also eat mallow, spurge, succulents, etc.

Yvonne
 

Redfoot NERD

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giryarmo said:
Redfoot NERD said:
How can I say this??????? I've been hesitating.

Get desert tortoises!

Or construct a dwelling that you can maintain at low to mid-80's during seasons that get below 70F. And it absolutely MUST BE hard-wired.. no extension cords.. EVER!!!

You live in a climate that is.. just about as wrong for redfoots as you can..... much too dry year 'round! And then it get's too cool for them too! You might just have to accept that.

For example I had to give up on Leopard's because it was just too humid here! And I had beautiful 12-13" blond ones.

It will be quite an expense to do it right.. however it can be done! You know me.. count the cost.. FIRST!!!

Terry

Terry-the problem with desert tortoises is that the area that I will be keeping them is actually high humidity. The overall climate of southern california is dry alot of months, however, like I mentioned in my original post, the specific area that I will be keeping them is actually extremely humid. It is a very shady area with a sprinkler system that goes off 4 times per week. So the overall area is very damp and humid. I really dont think a desert tort will do well in this particular scenario. Not to mention the area only gets about 2-3 hours of direct sunlight.

Thanks for the input, but I think Im going to continue to search for ways to supplement night time heating for a forest tort for this area as opposed to a desert tort. I think with a little creativity and money I can make a good environment.

I kept african spurs for 5 years and would love to get a pair, however, I just dont think this enclosure is hot and dry enough for them, so if I cant figure out a way to supplement night time heat for the redfoot, I might be forced not to buy a tort at all.

Not trying to be smart.. ever considered turning the sprinkler off?

It's true the "wallows" will be used by the redfoots.. however it's the ambient humidity that they thrive on.

Your call.. and money! You've had good advice. Proper structure.. heat source.. wiring safety.. constant monitoring.. and if using clamp-lights be sure to secure them with 'fence staples'! And yes they do need to be shut-up at night.. they sometimes don't return to their 'warm' hide.. they don't expect the temps to drop that much!
 

giryarmo

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What's your name, RFNewbie? Would like to address my email to you by name...

I keep Yellowfoot tortoises, and I live in Clovis, CA (just east of Fresno, central Calif.). My yellowfoot tortoises live outside year round, but they have a heated house in the winter. They used to be allowed to come and go as they wish, but now I mostly keep their door locked shut during cold weather because they never seem to go back into the warm house on their own, and I don't have time to monitor them. Inside their shed I have pig blankets (Stansfield farrowing pad from Osborne Industries {They're online}), and two clamp light fixtures. One holds a regular 60 watt incandescent bulb for daytime and the other holds a black light bulb to turn on at night. The pig blankets provide them warmth to sit on, and the light heats up the ambient air. The air inside the shed, when I open their door in the a.m. is between 65 and 70 degrees. (I keep my leopard tortoises this way too, but their shed is larger and I have to have a heater in there at night (de Longhi oil filled radiator). A cautionary note on the pig blankets. You have to buy a controller to maintain the correct temperature. If you just plug the pad into the outlet, it will get too hot. Also, you NEVER want to use a pig blanket with a very small tortoise.

Your habitat sounds very nice...safe and secure. The only thing I would change is the Burmuda grass. They won't eat it and eventually it will overtake everything and grow too tall and invasive. They prefer plants and broad leaf weeds. My Yellowfoots ate a small 1 gallon banana tree down to the ground! I toss vegetable seeds onto their ground in the spring and they eat the foliage as it comes in. They also eat mallow, spurge, succulents, etc.

Yvonne

I apologize, my name is Nerses.

Thanks Yvonne for the great info, your setup sounds like what Im trying to achieve. I live in Glendale, CA just north of LA and I think I would be able to put together a similar setup. A couple weeks back I ordered a "forest forage" seed mix from turtlestuff.com but I havent recieved it yet, if and when I do, Im gonna throw those seeds instead of the bermuda and hopefully they will enjoy it. Thanks again.

Nerses
 

giryarmo

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Redfoot NERD said:
giryarmo said:
Redfoot NERD said:
How can I say this??????? I've been hesitating.

Get desert tortoises!

Or construct a dwelling that you can maintain at low to mid-80's during seasons that get below 70F. And it absolutely MUST BE hard-wired.. no extension cords.. EVER!!!

You live in a climate that is.. just about as wrong for redfoots as you can..... much too dry year 'round! And then it get's too cool for them too! You might just have to accept that.

For example I had to give up on Leopard's because it was just too humid here! And I had beautiful 12-13" blond ones.

It will be quite an expense to do it right.. however it can be done! You know me.. count the cost.. FIRST!!!

Terry

Terry-the problem with desert tortoises is that the area that I will be keeping them is actually high humidity. The overall climate of southern california is dry alot of months, however, like I mentioned in my original post, the specific area that I will be keeping them is actually extremely humid. It is a very shady area with a sprinkler system that goes off 4 times per week. So the overall area is very damp and humid. I really dont think a desert tort will do well in this particular scenario. Not to mention the area only gets about 2-3 hours of direct sunlight.

Thanks for the input, but I think Im going to continue to search for ways to supplement night time heating for a forest tort for this area as opposed to a desert tort. I think with a little creativity and money I can make a good environment.

I kept african spurs for 5 years and would love to get a pair, however, I just dont think this enclosure is hot and dry enough for them, so if I cant figure out a way to supplement night time heat for the redfoot, I might be forced not to buy a tort at all.

Not trying to be smart.. ever considered turning the sprinkler off?

It's true the "wallows" will be used by the redfoots.. however it's the ambient humidity that they thrive on.

Your call.. and money! You've had good advice. Proper structure.. heat source.. wiring safety.. constant monitoring.. and if using clamp-lights be sure to secure them with 'fence staples'! And yes they do need to be shut-up at night.. they sometimes don't return to their 'warm' hide.. they don't expect the temps to drop that much!


The sprinklers are tied to other parts of the yard, so I cant turn them off. Thanks for the advice, Im gonna continue to research to determine which tort my enclosure would best suit and get that one.
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Nerses: I too bought the Forest seed mixture from Turtlestuff.com. A couple weeks ago I tossed it all around in the Burmese tortoise pens and it has started to sprout. So far it looks pretty good. There are no grass-type seedlings coming up, only broad-leafed plantlets. The Burmese will eat grass if you leave them hungry for a while, but they much prefer to eat like the red/yellowfoot tortoises. I have fenced off a major portion of their pens and over-planted many different kinds of shrubs, trees and ground-covers. Reason for fencing it off is the tortoises are too big and they eat the plants before they get a chance to grow. I have Shepherd's Purse, Rose of Sharon, Pomegranite, End-of-Summer, Taro, Elephant ear, fruitless mullberry, buddlea (butterfly bush), etc. During the summer its very lush and shady in there. Then right before winter I take down a section of the fence and let the tortoises in. They devour the plants right down to the ground and sometimes even dig up the bulbs and eat them. With the Forest seed mixture in their every-day part of the pen, I'm hoping it will take up a bit of the "feeding" slack. They eat a LOT!!

Yvonne
 

giryarmo

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Hi Nerses: I too bought the Forest seed mixture from Turtlestuff.com. A couple weeks ago I tossed it all around in the Burmese tortoise pens and it has started to sprout. So far it looks pretty good. There are no grass-type seedlings coming up, only broad-leafed plantlets. The Burmese will eat grass if you leave them hungry for a while, but they much prefer to eat like the red/yellowfoot tortoises. I have fenced off a major portion of their pens and over-planted many different kinds of shrubs, trees and ground-covers. Reason for fencing it off is the tortoises are too big and they eat the plants before they get a chance to grow. I have Shepherd's Purse, Rose of Sharon, Pomegranite, End-of-Summer, Taro, Elephant ear, fruitless mullberry, buddlea (butterfly bush), etc. During the summer its very lush and shady in there. Then right before winter I take down a section of the fence and let the tortoises in. They devour the plants right down to the ground and sometimes even dig up the bulbs and eat them. With the Forest seed mixture in their every-day part of the pen, I'm hoping it will take up a bit of the "feeding" slack. They eat a LOT!!

Yvonne

Yvonne-I placed my order on Jan 17th, received shipped confirmation on the 23rd and am still to receive my order. its very strange, I dont know what happened, but I have emailed and called several times with not response from turtlestuff.com. I was really excited to plant the seeds and get the area going, but it looks like I may have gotten jipped out of $40. You said you have leopards as well? do you think as Terry mentioned, it would better if I went with a desert tort? I was convinced that my area was good for redfoots, but it seems as though even though the area is fiarly "damp" and doesnt get 10-12 hours of direct sunlight, it might be better for a desert tort as opposed to a redfooot. Im really confused now.
 

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[/quote]
do you think as Terry mentioned, it would better if I went with a desert tort? I was convinced that my area was good for redfoots, but it seems as though even though the area is fiarly "damp" and doesnt get 10-12 hours of direct sunlight, it might be better for a desert tort as opposed to a redfooot. Im really confused now.
[/quote]

Nerses, I would do more research. Take temps and humidity in the area at different times of the day, talk with a plumber regarding disconnecting or turning off the sprinklers. Talk with an electrician regarding wiring in the area. Make the research in this area a project. I would not acquire a tort until you are sure. Is there any other reason you had your heart set on a RF? The info you have recieved here is some good info from some experts in the field of RF. Listen, Learn and Research so you can provide the best care for whatever type of tort you get. And I wouldn't give up on turtlestuff. Keep tryng to contact them. Sometimes they are slow.
 

giryarmo

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do you think as Terry mentioned, it would better if I went with a desert tort? I was convinced that my area was good for redfoots, but it seems as though even though the area is fiarly "damp" and doesnt get 10-12 hours of direct sunlight, it might be better for a desert tort as opposed to a redfooot. Im really confused now.
[/quote]

Nerses, I would do more research. Take temps and humidity in the area at different times of the day, talk with a plumber regarding disconnecting or turning off the sprinklers. Talk with an electrician regarding wiring in the area. Make the research in this area a project. I would not acquire a tort until you are sure. Is there any other reason you had your heart set on a RF? The info you have recieved here is some good info from some experts in the field of RF. Listen, Learn and Research so you can provide the best care for whatever type of tort you get. And I wouldn't give up on turtlestuff. Keep tryng to contact them. Sometimes they are slow.
[/quote]

Thanks Crazy1, Im definately going to do much more research before I get the tort, which is why I am frequenting these forums and talking to the experts. thanks again.
 

giryarmo

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I was trying to avoid keeping the tort indoors at all, but I think that if I build area for it inside for the nights, and just keep it out during the day, it really makes things much more attainable and healthier for the tort as well. the area I have would be ideal for day time foraging and excersing, and then every night I can put him/her into thier nighttime habitat. I think this is the best scenario for my situation.

I had decided on a redfoot because I think they are gorgeous and the adult grown one is really not that big, however, I think a desert tort is more "native" to the southern california weather.

Thanks for everybody's help. I will try to post some pics of the area and the tort as I progress.
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Nerses: Don't get discouraged. The seeds from Turtlestuff.com are very fresh and it could just be that they don't have them in stock right now. I'm sure you have not been gypped out of your $40. As for the tortoise, if you have your heart set on a redfoot, then that's what I would get. The area sounds just right for one. Your desert-type tortoise including leopards and sulcatas won't do well on that side of the house even if you tap off the sprinklers. They require lots of sun and your tortoise area is shady all day. Most of my enclosures have electricity wired into them, but a couple are served by heavy-duty extension cords. You just have to be on your toes and make sure the cord stays "healthy." If you build the tortoie's house using YOUR house as one side of his house and make it secure from night time predators, there's no reason the tortoise can't live in his habitat all the time. You just have to go out every evening and make sure he's in his house and close it up tight against night time marauders. Whatever type of tortoise you end up getting, good luck with it.

Yvonne
 

JustAnja

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Hi Nerses: Don't get discouraged. The seeds from Turtlestuff.com are very fresh and it could just be that they don't have them in stock right now. I'm sure you have not been gypped out of your $40. As for the tortoise, if you have your heart set on a redfoot, then that's what I would get. The area sounds just right for one. Your desert-type tortoise including leopards and sulcatas won't do well on that side of the house even if you tap off the sprinklers. They require lots of sun and your tortoise area is shady all day. Most of my enclosures have electricity wired into them, but a couple are served by heavy-duty extension cords. You just have to be on your toes and make sure the cord stays "healthy." If you build the tortoie's house using YOUR house as one side of his house and make it secure from night time predators, there's no reason the tortoise can't live in his habitat all the time. You just have to go out every evening and make sure he's in his house and close it up tight against night time marauders. Whatever type of tortoise you end up getting, good luck with it.

Yvonne


Great post Yvonne. I hate to see anyone discourage someone from getting a particular tort species. (other than I really dont think Sulcatas belong here in the northern climates since they are so hard to house as large adults in the winter time here) Ive seen plenty of folks keep Redfoots successfully in Southern California. Plenty of Leopards are kept successfully in Florida which is a high humidity area and do just fine.
 

giryarmo

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JustAnja said:
Hi Nerses: Don't get discouraged. The seeds from Turtlestuff.com are very fresh and it could just be that they don't have them in stock right now. I'm sure you have not been gypped out of your $40. As for the tortoise, if you have your heart set on a redfoot, then that's what I would get. The area sounds just right for one. Your desert-type tortoise including leopards and sulcatas won't do well on that side of the house even if you tap off the sprinklers. They require lots of sun and your tortoise area is shady all day. Most of my enclosures have electricity wired into them, but a couple are served by heavy-duty extension cords. You just have to be on your toes and make sure the cord stays "healthy." If you build the tortoie's house using YOUR house as one side of his house and make it secure from night time predators, there's no reason the tortoise can't live in his habitat all the time. You just have to go out every evening and make sure he's in his house and close it up tight against night time marauders. Whatever type of tortoise you end up getting, good luck with it.

Yvonne


Great post Yvonne. I hate to see anyone discourage someone from getting a particular tort species. (other than I really dont think Sulcatas belong here in the northern climates since they are so hard to house as large adults in the winter time here) Ive seen plenty of folks keep Redfoots successfully in Southern California. Plenty of Leopards are kept successfully in Florida which is a high humidity area and do just fine.

Yvonne/JustAnja-thanks for the encouragment. I think I figured things out. At the end of the area on the side of my house that I want to keep the redfoot there is a large electrical panel that has all the fuse boxes and sprinkler systems and all that good stuff. well, as it turns out, there is an outlet there and there are 2 available outlets that is currently not being used. I dont know why I didnt catch it earlier, but Im really excited. This electrical "panel" extends about 2 feet out from the side of my house, is about 5 feet in length and about 3 feet off the ground. So what I was thinking I can do is build an outdoor nighttime enclosure underneath the panel, and run the heat lamp directly from the outlet below to the enclosure. I wouldnt have to use extension cords, I can plug it in directly to the outlet. Now its just a matter and contructing an enclosure that would work well underneath this panel. Perhaps the overal climate of southern california is not ideally suited for redfoots, however, through my research, I am confident that the setup that I am planning would make a redfoot very happy. I will try to post some pics of my progress, and thanks again to everybody for your feedback and help.

Nerses
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Nerses: Sounds like you've got it made then! One thing to consider about your sprinklers if you change your mind about a desert species: If you unscrew the sprinkler, you can remove it and replace the sprinkler with a cap. They sell them in any hardware or nursery store. A lot cheaper than a plumber.

Yvonne
 

giryarmo

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Hi Nerses: Sounds like you've got it made then! One thing to consider about your sprinklers if you change your mind about a desert species: If you unscrew the sprinkler, you can remove it and replace the sprinkler with a cap. They sell them in any hardware or nursery store. A lot cheaper than a plumber.

Yvonne

Yvonne, thats great advice, thanks again. I might rethink getting desert torts when I have an area that is dry and gets more sunshine. Also, I think I found the place to get my adult redfoot, www.tortugavilla.com, the guys name is Paul and he is a super nice and very educated guy. He has a 12 inch male on hold for me until I contruct the nighttime habitat.

Nerses
 

Yvonne G

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. Also, I think I found the place to get my adult redfoot, www.tortugavilla.com, the guys name is Paul and he is a super nice and very educated guy.

Nerses
[/quote]

I looked around his web site and was impressed with his clean set up and healthy-looking animals. My only wish is that people would curtail the breeding of sulcata a bit. It seems to be working for him, though.

Yvonne
 

JustAnja

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Very nice that you can get one locally there Nerses. Please do keep us posted on progress and of course post pics of the setup and the tort when you get him in!
 

giryarmo

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. Also, I think I found the place to get my adult redfoot, www.tortugavilla.com, the guys name is Paul and he is a super nice and very educated guy.

Nerses

I looked around his web site and was impressed with his clean set up and healthy-looking animals. My only wish is that people would curtail the breeding of sulcata a bit. It seems to be working for him, though.

Yvonne
[/quote]

Yeah I agree that the breeding of sulcata's needs to be averted. He said more and more people are getting educated on redfoots thus he has been concentrating more on that. Im going to Cancun in a couple weeks for 10 days, so when I return I am going to pay him a visit and pick up the tort, he is about 30 miles from me. his setup really does look clean. he also gave me some good advice on how to constuct the nightime hide in particular to the redfoot Im getting so that his transition can be smooth.

Nerses
 

giryarmo

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JustAnja said:
Very nice that you can get one locally there Nerses. Please do keep us posted on progress and of course post pics of the setup and the tort when you get him in!

Will do JustAnja...there are a few breeders here locally, but I found that this particular breeder has the cleanest and most thought out setup, not to mention he has kept and bred torts for a long time. Im excited about the tort and will definately post pics of everything I have done, it sure beats me trying to explain everything, which I dont think Im all that good at.
 
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